We cannot ignore the Old Testament because the Gospel depends on it. Without the history of the Old Testament we would have no idea why Jesus Christ had to come to earth to make God’s Kingdom a reality. Romans 15:4 says, ‘…everything that was written in the past [in the Old Testament] was written to teach us….’
# The Old Testament shows when sin came into the world.
Sin is the failure to obey God. God is the Creator and therefore the Ruler of the universe. That is why He has the authority to expect all people to live a certain standard of sinlessness. However, we all sin. We get angry or jealous, our words are not pure, we have bad attitudes, wrong motives, et cetera. We do small and big things that offend God. Whatever we think, we all fail to please God.
# The Old Testament shows how people failed.
- Adam and Eve failed. They disobeyed God even though they lived in a perfect environment.
- Noah failed, even though he began on a ‘clean’ earth. He became drunk,1 with the resultant curse on his grandson, Canaan.
- Abraham failed, even though God specially called him. He went to Egypt, lied about his wife, 2 took Hagar the Egyptian slave though God promised him a son, 3 again lied about Sarah. 4
- The Israelites failed, even though God explained in detail how they should live. Nehemiah 9:9-37 gives an excellent summary of the care, love and help God lavished on His stiff necked people.
- The Gentile nations failed, even though they knew about God and His ways through the Israelites. Yet they decided to go their own way. The many prophecies against them in especially the prophetic books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel explain their failure.
# The Old Testament shows our need for the Light of the world, the Son of God.
- It is only because God intervened, that His plan for an eternal Kingdom of peace can be realised. He announced in Jeremiah 31:31 that the New Covenant will come into effect (see Sacrifice in the city and God’s brilliance with burning beasts): God gave His Son to be crucified for the sins of the world.
- The main message of the Old Testament is: look to the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the Sacrifice that will save us from the power of the devil and bring us into the Kingdom of Light. 5 All the glory to God the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the gift of eternal life.
God goes to considerable trouble in the Old Testament to prove to us that all people fail to measure up to His standards for the Kingdom of Peace. That is why He sent Jesus as the sacrifice for our sins. He is the centre around which everything in God’s Kingdom revolves. The Old Testament highlights Jesus Christ the Saviour.
- Genesis 9:20-23
- Genesis 12:11-20
- Genesis 16
- Genesis 20
- Colossians 1:13-14